Poetry Challenge Week Four: Blackout Poems

 It’s week FOUR of the Weekly Poetry Challenge, and this week is all about blackout poems! A blackout poem is created by taking a block of text—like from a newspaper, magazine, or book—and “blacking out” everything except the words you want. Here’s a blackout poem I wrote: Created using the book MAKE BLACKOUT POETRY by John Carroll Read some black out poems! Here are some blackout poems by author Austin Kleon . Examples of student-created blackout poems . Check out this Pinterest board for more examples. Write a black out poem! When creating your blackout poem, you may to start with a pencil and circle or block around the words you want to keep for your poem. Then, once you’re happy with your poem use a sharpie to black out everything you don’t want. Blackout poetry is a great visual, but you can also type out your poem when you’re done to make it easier to read. Need a little help? Here’s a video by Austin Kleon on how he makes blackout poetry. If you or your kids write blackout poem

Summer Challenge Week Five: Summer Celebrations

It's week five of the Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Challenge, and that means Summer Celebrations! There are so many things to celebrate in the summer: the Fourth of July, summer birthdays, vacations, no school. Why not celebrate with some books about celebrations and some celebrating of your own? Maybe there's a summer birthday in your family. Celebrating the 4th of July? Add some reading to the festivities. Or maybe you just want an excuse to party! Whatever your reason to celebrate, we hope this week's theme gets you reading and partying with the people you love.

Ideas for books to read:

  • Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet S. Wong, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. This is a lovely book that celebrates not only American independence, but also the diversity of America and Americans.
  • Chimpanzees for Tea by Jo Empson. A clever and fun read aloud. Why not read this and have a summer tea party?
  • The Piñata that the Farm Maiden Hung by Samantha R. Vamos, illustrated by Sebastia Serra. A fun step-and-repeat story that blends Spanish language into the text. Whatever you're celebrating, add a piñata to the festivities!
Ideas for things to discuss:
  • What are some of your ways to celebrate?
  • Do you have a favorite summer holiday?
  • What ways do you see other cultures influencing American celebrations?
  • Have you ever had a tea party? 
  • If you could invite anyone in the world to your party, who would it be?
  • What are some reasons to celebrate that are NOT birthdays or holidays?
Ideas for things to do:
  • Choose a holiday to celebrate (even if the date is past). For lesser known holidays, check out National Day Calendar and pick one to celebrate. For example, July 5th is National Graham Cracker day (are you thinking...s'mores?). 
  • Host a summer tea party. Serve refreshing treats, lemonade, and iced tea.
  • Invite neighbors over for a backyard barbecue.
  • Have a picnic in the park (bring a piñata just because).
  • Celebrating the 4th of July? Go to a fireworks show or light up some sparklers at home.
  • Host an ice cream social. Serve vanilla and chocolate ice cream and provide lots of toppings for people to make their own sundaes.
What are you favorite ways to celebrate during the summer? Let us know in the comments and/or share on social media with the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge.


Mindy Baker said…
Great theme and post! I love the books you recommend!
Rebecca Gomez said…
Mindy, I'd love to know your recommendations for celebratory books!